Ready for the fight – meet the para taekwondo star whose sights are set on gold

Amy Truesdale is no stranger to the world stage. But after disappointment at the Tokyo Paralympics, she is even more determined to take home gold at the upcoming Para Taekwondo World Championships.

Born without a left hand or forearm as a result of amniotic band syndrome, the Chester-born athlete initially learnt martial arts as a child for self-defence before quickly realising her talent.

Making her debut in 2009 in Baku, Truesdale already has two World titles under her belt and has received medals at every World Championships except 2019.

But the 34-year-old admits that getting bronze in Tokyo was difficult to take.

“The disappointment of Tokyo hit me hard,” she said, “I was in a dark place for a while. But I have come through that now and back to my usual self.”

Truesdale’s optimism for the upcoming Championships is well founded. Sitting at number two in the world, she’s already won the European Para Taekwondo Championships in Holland and the Solidarity Open in France in July.

What’s more, she’s beaten the reigning Paralympic champion, Guljonoy Naimova of Uzbekistan, twice this year.

Speaking of her recent success, Truesdale commented: “We have had a few tournaments back-to-back, so we are in a good place, physically. Hopefully, we can keep that momentum going into the Worlds.”

Truesdale is one of five Manchester-trained fighters heading to Veracruz for the Championships from September 22 to 24, the first time the event has been staged in a Pan American city. The full squad consists of: Joe Lane, Matt Bush, Keira Forsythe, Beth Munro, and Amy Truesdale.

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